If you’re going to make the case for some form of Traditionalism: What you cannot do is make the case that Traditionalism works to keep you, or your family, temporally happy, safe, wealthy, or in any other desirable state. There are so few Traditionalists that to judge its success by material fruits is to admit defeat. To trumpet an earthly bounty from Traditionalism is to wholly discredit yourself. Whatever earthly desires you think you can satisfy with Traditionalism will be put to shame by the proceeds of Modernism.
In the post before last I wrote that Harvey Mansfield introduced me to this idea, or argument, called the Fact-Value Distinction. I haven’t yet read about it because reading about it is going to take some time. There are several old authors to have read on the subject before I can claim to say anything informed about the Fact-Value Distinction; David Hume for example. (Right now I’m reading Antifragile…finally.) Regardless of my ignorance, I keep thinking about the fact-value distinction because there are some deep implications. I mean: There are fundamental pre-thought assumptions that influence my thoughts before I consciously think about anything!
Basically, if I understand it from Mansfield’s brief explanation, whenever we observe (see, hear, touch, etc.) something, we either accept it as a brute, naked fact (This is the Fact side of the F-VD) or we make a judgement what we observe (This is the value side.). The Fact side is the realm of mathematics and science. The best example I can think of at the moment is “2+2=4”. No judgement can or should be made about that. (Mostly. More in a bit.) The Value side is the realm of religion and philosophy: What ought to be, and what ought to be observed.
Our worldview, modernity, is possessed with an obsession of the Fact view of life, and deeply discounts Values–judgements. When Science! (the collective institutions of politically influential scientists) declares on a subject it is declared in a way that we are to accept it like we should accept 2+2=4. Any divergence or dispute from what Science! has decreed is taken as an expression of insanity as looney as disputing that 2+2≠4.
But if you think about it for a moment, Science! is hiding the ball. Even if they do not mean to deceive they have because before they present an observation as Fact, they’ve already made a judgement that the observation has Value as a Fact, and that the Fact is good for them (and us) to know, and to make decisions based upon them. In other words: The way of Science! and of the whole modern world is to make one Value distinction to say that every thing and every observation is a Fact. Since every Fact is True like 2+2=4, and since every observation becomes a thought, then every thought is True. But we observe different things; even contradictory things. Collectively, then, we moderns observe that 2+2=∞, and go about making Fact of it.
Anyone who recognizes this then has a choice:
- Degrade all observations, thoughts, and knowledge as insane and random. Then wonder what you, an insane person, means by insane.
- Commit an incoherent doublethink by accepting the idea of moral relativism while ignoring the fact that moral relativism is destroyed by the basic value assumption that facts exists.
- Recognize that you make Value judgements about every single observation you have, and then wonder in terror what you are to do next.
Let me give a more concrete example of what I believe is an improper Fact-Value Distinction. It is from the very same video of Mansfield where he taught me of the F-VD, and who is in favor of Value distinctions. It’s said clumsily as often happens in conversation, but if you watch the section of the video on Manliness you understand that Mansfield disagrees with the idea that men and women are the same, or even think the same. But then he goes on to make an assertion of Fact when a judgement of Value is more correct. He says:
[W]e reason differently. It just isn’t the case. This is the most important thing that men and women think the same. We have different outlooks. So, to have a different body somehow goes with having a different soul.
And, so for example, women are more pacifistic. Well, they have children, that’s a big investment, nine months – nine months of your life for each one of them. You’re not going to go throwing away human life recklessly.
Well, maybe that’s comical, but I think that’s – that kind of thinking is very common and even wise. There is a kind of wisdom in that correspondence of roles and ways of thinking.
That’s slightly, but importantly, wrong. It would have been right to say because women have to make a huge investment of nine months, they ought to recognize that investment and not throw away human life recklessly. It’s not a fact that women aren’t reckless with human life, or that they are pacifistic because of the term of pregnancy. Women abort their babies. Women kill their children. Women go to war. Women fight and start fights. Women do all kinds of things which are anathema to human life and pacifism.
The importance of this particular error is this: Once we make a Value judgement that women ought not throw away human life recklessly, then we have to make another Value judgement about whether we ought, or ought not, impose that expectation of on them. Modern men don’t want to do that. We’d rather pretend women are Facts, and we’d rather pretend that if we imagine them to be pacifists of factual reason, that too is a Fact.
I’ve been listening to more of Bill Kristol’s Conversations; especially those with Harvey Mansfield. The first effect of which has been to expand my list of classics; Tocqueville, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, J.S.Mills, Strauss, Mansfield himself…
Since those books yet remain for me in that classical state, I can only comment on what he briefly explains. There are over 12 hours of Mansfield speaking though, and he returns to the same topics over and again. So I have probably learned a few things which I will test as I remove titles from my personal list of classics.
- Zippy is right: I have been a right-liberal. I previously admitted to be a right-liberal before, but limited it to an accordance with his interpretation of things, i.e., “on his blog”. That was wrong. Modernity (a whole ‘nother thing which I’m only now seeing from outside) is what we live in, and it taught me that its (modernity’s) notions of right and left were true. They’re not. It turns out that there is a very long conversation about politics and the dichotomy was established a long time ago. The character, or spirit, of each side is probably beyond dispute: Democracy (Liberalism/Left) or Aristocracy (Authoritarianism/Right). There are several/many forms of each, but there are only two real philosophies (or principles). Every mixture of the two requires some kind of mental investment in a paradox. That’s in the best case. In the worst mixtures one requires doublethink. I like the former and hate the latter. My problem, and not just mine, is that the unstoppable force of democracy is crashing full-speed into the immovable object of reality. Unfortunately I’m between them, and quite squishable. Paradoxes are a kind of crash-cage protection, but fear causes one to grasp at doublethinks as a kind of insulation…but at some point enough pillows will smother you.
- All these old guys (Kristol, Mansfield, Larry Summers, Charles Murray, etc.) are hesitant to say that men do good things too, and often at times and in ways that women can’t, and they take pains to say that women might do it, too. They really put men down. Mansfield at least makes the case that this is a problem (even as he does it) and makes snide comments that the powers-that-be are who muzzle us.
- There’s this argument called the fact value distinction of which I did not know that I had picked a side (value). In modernity–because of modernity–democracy has elected fact. I am at odds again with the majority; though I confess that my preference was instinctual, subconscious, or in some other way less-than-consciously-reasoned. Irrational, but correct. A great deal of Right thought is irrational. It (knowledge or wisdom) can’t always be logically deduced, or logically consistent. I’m good with that, but then we get into accepting paradoxes, and also threatened by doublethinks.
- One thing that I extracted from the spaces between Mansfield’s words is that No-Fault Divorce was probably an inevitable “innovation” of democracy. Democracy’s spirit is not just consent, but retractable consent, or arguable consent; a consent that is always up for debate. Here we get to one of those doublethinks because consent that is debatable is not really consent. If it is debatable, then it’s not real. So when some feminist (who is a kind of democrat/liberal/leftist) argues that she didn’t really consent to marriage, or sex, or whathaveyou: She is correct in the sense that she is more in-line with the spirit of liberalism. Her correctness matters and resonates because our society just is ruled by Liberalism. According to that spirit, No-Fault Divorce corrects an oversight of our forebears: The right of a wife (theoretically any spouse but effectually a wife) to hold a new election for Husband. A democracy with only one binding election does not keep with the spirit of democracy/liberalism. Binding isn’t what liberty does. No-Fault Divorce is a call to stand for election to office.
So, as I was saying, I was a right-liberal…I do not think I will stand for election again.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Once, according to the flesh and to fulfill His Father’s will, Jesus was a Jew. He has fulfilled that prophecy, died, and rose from the dead returning to His true and eternal self, the only begotten Son of God. Anyone who is in Christ has also died, and now is alive for true and a new thing. Not the old thing.
It’s commonly taught that we Christians are the “New Jews” but that is only true in the sense that Jew is a metaphor for God’s People. In fact it was never the case that genetics was the basis of who was a member of God’s People. Abraham, a Chaldean, was chosen by God, adopted, and was sealed by circumcision. The promise that was given to him was given under the law by which I mean the order of, and according to, the material world of which the law God gave Moses corresponds. In his letter to the Galatians, St. Paul says it this way:
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
That law included all sorts of rules about how the people of Israel were to interact with–and prohibit–foreigners. This post is already going to be very long and it would bloat to tens of thousands of words if I included them all, but here is an example which takes place just before the Israelites flee Egypt, and before the law is given:
43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. 45 No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. 46 It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. 49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
It looks like a set of rules with principled exceptions, but in reality there are no exceptions to the rule that the Passover is to be kept by Israelites and none of it given to foreigners or hired workers. Period. What looks like exceptions are actually instructions of how those slaves and foreigners, by faith, become Israelites; because one who is circumcised in faithful obedience to God is as Abraham himself. There shall be one law for the native and the stranger who sojourns among you. That law is faith in God which produces obedience. One law for one people.
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul explains this (of which this is only a short bit)
10 How then was [righteousness] counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Whoever shares one father is from the same nation; the same ethnicity. Under Abraham that ethnicity is one of faith, but under Christ, who is the fulfillment of that faith, we truly share in blood. St. Paul explains it magnificently in his letter to the Ephesians:
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Made us both Jew and Gentiles one. Fellow citizens. Members of the household of God. One temple. One people. He writes the same to the Galatians because of their struggles with the anti-Christian Jews who try to ritually ensnare those who formerly were Gentiles in the flesh. The end of his thought which I quoted above is powerful and direct:
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
It wasn’t that Gentiles became Jews, but that both are done away with in Christ and we, and our blood, are now something new and better. There are still Jews and Gentiles in the world, and for we who are in Christ mixing with them, marrying and having sex with them, it is miscegenation and a sin.
There are sinful compulsions which are particularly rampant among Jews, and the various Gentile nations are each bedeviled by sins to which they are respectively given. St. Paul, while counseling Titus, speaks of both Jews and Cretans in a race-realist way that would cause wailing and gnashing of teeth in most churches:
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
Jews are deceitful, gossiping swindlers; Cretans are lying, lazy, evil, gluttonous beasts; both are good for nothing. They are not in Christ. Those who were formerly Jews and formerly Cretans are in Christ, and they are something new in one new nation which is of Christ’s blood; as are we.
 See: Wineskins
 So if someone says “Those cretans jewed me out of my money.”, we should assume that person is somewhat biblically literate.
I’m jumping ahead a bit here, but I want to write about the thing which, if one accepts it, then it brings into question all the assumptions of a nationalism based on the material instead of the spiritual. That thing is marriage. Here’s Jesus Christ on marriage:
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Obviously the husband’s flesh is not fused to the wife’s so that it is materially inseparable, yet we must accept the truth of married oneness as real–more real than material flesh. In marriage it is in the flesh of the spirit that the two are truly made one. Whatever the spiritual flesh of the husband, so also the wife. The different genetics of a man and wife do not hinder this real union. In sane societies, and for the majority of history, that truth is an was recognized by even the laws of men who preceded Christ’s birth and those who never heard of Him after it.
Even legal prohibitions and taboos against inter-ethnic marriage are subject to this real law of the spirit. The prohibitions and taboos are attempts to stop the bringing together of what such prohibitors believe ought not be brought together, but the existence of the prohibition confesses it can be done. Which brings us to St. Paul
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”
The modern thing for St. Paul to have said about Christians banging prostitutes was some form of annulment: “That didn’t count.” He doesn’t. Instead he doubles-down:
17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
Here’s that more-real-than-material flesh of the spirit showing up again. A man is not penetrated by the woman; yet sexual immorality is inside his body. Gluttony, or the eating of things which are unclean (for that person) is certainly a sin which involves taking things into the body, yet Paul says it is a sin that is outside the body. Paul explains how this is so.
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Later he will write to this same church:
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The passing away of the old and and the coming of the new is true of all those who are in Christ, and it is wholly true of those in Christ. Genetics can’t stop it because genetics are old, dead flesh.
In case my father ever reads this I should address the stumbling block put before us by Progressives who are sexually immoral and revilers and swindlers. It seems that every-other piece of media produced (not to mention the lives of our celebrities in sports and entertainment) sells the idea of interracial sex (especially of the black man and white woman variety) as if it were the pinnacle of human achievement.
We ought to recognize that it is a taunt aimed at take our minds off the real and focus on the worldly. It is false doctrine, a corrupt idol meant to stand in the place of the reality of unity in Christ, but which actually has nothing to do with the spirit and is full of spite. Progressives live according to the flesh, and they are portraying what should not be for others who live according to the flesh. It hits a lot of notes for them:
- It flouts the spirit of the law of God to keep separate those things that ought not be brought together (though their standard is wrong because it is old)
- It offends people who they hate and
- It elicits revelry from other sexually immoral revilers and swindlers
Perhaps what I’m describing is difficult to comprehend… An analogy to the Progressive and materialist idol of interracial sex and marriage would be cannibalism. Jesus said at the Last Supper that this bread is His body and this wine is His blood, and we are to eat and drink it as if it were so. The material idolatry of that reality is cannibalism. Have you noticed how rampant vampires, werewolves, zombies and other cannibals are these days? How many of those pieces of media feature interracial sex? All of them?
So if anyone is not in Christ and still of the flesh and the world and still blind to the truth: Do not partake in the eucharist, do not eat people, and do not have have sex with someone of another race.
I still have more to repeat from St. Paul, and will write more about the absence of Jews.
 The fact is we eat things as if they were those things even when they are those things. You eat cake as if it were cake. That you are actually eating cake doesn’t change that fact that you eat it as if it were cake.
Some comments of the previous post spurred me to investigate some of the ideas that are floating around the Alt-Right. It is the Alt-Right which, at least around me (in the sense that Internet conversations can be around) to which people either flock, or react against, and so they are the center of thought for those people.
One of the biggest topics of the Alt-Right conversations is nationalism and they are right that it needs to be discussed. Sometimes it is called ethno-nationalism, but that is a redundant phrase as a nation is ethnically homogeneous. I believe nationalism is good and God-ordained as I believe patriarchy is good, but what I do not believe is that the false idea that the fundamental nature of a person is his material, and that one’s material rules his destiny. But my intent isn’t to write what the Alt-Right gets wrong, but rather point out what is true and what we know if our center is Christ.
Nationalism is another way of saying extended family, so Christian Nationalism is concerned with Christians. I believe that spirit is the ethnicity, and that God has revealed this throughout the history of the world. Most specifically in the Bible because: In the beginning there were no Jews.
27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Terah, a Chaldean, was the father. He was taking Abram to Canaan, but fell short in Haran. God calls Abram to leave not only Ur, but to leave his father’s house, i.e., Terah’s family. God adopts Abram, and now it is God taking His adopted son to Canaan and promising to make from Abram a great nation. Nation is singular, but from all the families of the earth in Abraham, i.e., in the family of Abram. So not only does God adopt Abram, but He also foretells that Abram’s descendants will be from both Abram’s material, and also by adoption from other family material shall come his descendants and heirs by spirit. It’s an echo man’s creation; the Lord gathering dust, breathing spirit into it and so making a man and heir. The only begotten (non-adopted) Son of God is Jesus, but all those who are adopted in the Spirit really are family. Whoever is not Christian is not part of the Christian nation–is not family.
We have another word for this sort of adoption, and that is redeemed. Because we are God’s lawful property as fruit of an errant vine which He created and planted (Adam), yet are now growing wild in sin, or in the clutches of another. Redemption comes to us through our Redeemer, Christ and by His Spirit.
There are mere material nations, of course. They really do exist (though dead) and they really are against whites and Westerners and especially against Christians. The friendliness of Muslims and Progressives boggles many Westerners because most Westerners do not accept the truth that ethnicities are spiritual. Muslims and Progressives find ways to make peace with each other because they both recognize their shared and inherited trait of being against Christ. They are not part of our family, and should not be treated as if they are. To complicate the matter: They are out there in the rest of the world trying to plunder, or destroy, or humiliate the United States for a variety or reasons of which only one is the fact that America appears to them to be a Christian nation.
Now, to put that (real) problem in perspective: Most of the people in the US are barbarians of other ethnicities. There are non-Christians, the fake Christians (who call themselves Christian but under investigation are found not to be), and there are all sorts of deformed Christians. They are in our families–but not!–and in our churches–but not! Many of our pastors and bishops and other leaders are not well-formed and fully-grown Christians, or at all. They too, as we painfully learn find common cause with the Progressives and the Muslims.
What I’m saying is we can’t stop the barbarians at the gates until the gates are out of the hands of the barbarians among whom we live. Later I’m going to say that there are no Jews in the Christian nation.
 Canaan too is more of that “adopted dust”. After adoption it is called Israel. Jerusalem becomes Zion.
There is a plague. It has wiped out four-fifth’s of our people for the past three generations; perhaps more. This plague is spread by eating food fertilized by human feces. On a few occasions, our people have contracted it by men putting their boots–which have been walked in the feces-fertilized gardens–onto the table. Our people don’t know that our food is poisoned when it is fertilized by human excrement, but they have noticed those few occasions when men’s boots were on the table there was sometimes plague. That is because it is an abnormal occurrence. Conversely, they don’t notice the E.coli already in their food because it is reliably present.
If I were counseling these people, all my efforts would be to remove human feces from the fertilization process because I know how old wives’ tales get propagated, and I know how deeply people invest in their pet (and petty) superstitions. Therefore I would never mention shoes-on-the-table as a source of plague except in a known, specific, instance because–while five out of one hundred men put E.coli on the table with their boots–one hundred out of one hundred people are eating food poisoned in the field.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
If a woman walks onto a stage and says that God told her something, isn’t that prophesy? If, in a Bible study, she says the Holy Spirit whispered to her some direction on how to spend less money, isn’t that prophesy? If she blogs that Jesus spoke to her heart about envy, or her personal growth, isn’t that prophesy?
Where are the coverings? And if there are no coverings, why haven’t they been snatched baldheaded?
Last year I meant to write this post. It was to be long and sophisticated and insightful and so I put it off until those traits descended upon me at some future point. The trouble for me was that the topic is, despite my schemes, very clear and concise. I felt the need for specific insight and a “strength-in-numerous-arguments” because I was fighting through the utter mess of female vanity that my culture and my churches have heaped in front of Paul’s teaching; which is itself simple, flawless, and immensely valuable. Precious stones are better appreciated by sight rather than description.
There is, you know, a difference between an indicative and an imperative. Then recall that most people don’t. If you tell people that a Christian is self-controlled, then they try to be self-controlled instead of trying to be Christian. But self-controlled is an indicative of a Christian. Take up the commandments of Christ, and you begin to get the self-control. Take up self-control itself and you get tired and irritated.
Women don’t need to learn how to be the good wife; the “Proverbs 31 wife”. The Proverbs 31 Wife is an indicative–what a good wife looks like–, it is not an imperative. The imperative–what a wife must do–is obey her husband, raise her children, and run her household well and with honor. That’s it. If she does those things she will become more and more like Proverbs 31 Wife even if she is totally ignorant of that model.
Submission is the absence of rebellion. Wives don’t have to learn “how to be submissive”; they just have to decide not to rebel. You literally cannot learn nothing, and anyone who tries to teach submission (the absence of rebellions, e.g. nothing) with caveats is therefore only teaching the caveats; the ways of rebellion that sound legitimate. That’s why, I am sure, there are no caveats to wifely submission in the Bible.
Which is to say: Most of the women who write on submission should shut up about that, and write about how to run a household, and how to care for children. Of course, women aren’t confined to chores and chirrun. They could write about other things, as well. Singing, for example, is a wonderful endeavor of a woman. Painting is good, too, as is dancing…and there are not half a dozen who would satisfy my notion of an accomplished woman.
Let them teach each other those, and let them leave exceptions of submission alone.
[CC: Expanded from a comment here.]
There is within Protestant circles an idea that the Early Church–that is to say the first generations of the body of believers both individually and corporately–had it right, and that we should endeavor to go back to doing things the way they did. This idea is very appealing to men who are discouraged at the prospect of attending churches of the present because, at present, churches are full of feminism, hucksters, con-men, fornicators, and all such manner of evil behavior that is dishonoring to Christ and harmful to the whole church. Solomon, at Dalrock’s blog said it this way:
I might suggest, however, that you look into the works of David Bercot, who has done extensive research on the early Christian writers (pre Constatntine)
Their “church” looked a lot like my meetings do. In addition to not being corrupt by feminist garbage at every level, the leaders of their groups were unpaid, preventing the conflict of interest.
Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? I have never heard of Mr. Barcot and I don’t know anything he has written, but I doubt it matters. In the epistles of the New Testament we have the best and first-hand accounts of how the Early Churches conducted themselves. Let me tell you: If you read the epistles from Peter, Paul, John the Beloved, and the others then you really get a sense of how pleasant, and giving, and humble, and orderly these churches…
No. The picture is of how bad were the churches. Apparently, Solomon is not alone in desiring to withhold a living from pastors. Paul writes to the Early Church in Corinth:
3 This is my defense to those who would examine me. 4 Do we not have the right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? 7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?
8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?
Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
If you’re not feeling the Corinthians’ shame, then you aren’t reading it right. “Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.” Endure anything: Even the cheapskate, hypocritical, commandment-shunning finger-wagglings of reprobate and miserly little Corinthians who won’t provide for those who feed them living bread, and slake them with living waters. Paul shamed the Corinthians and used their wormy excuses to boast of the importance of the Gospel.
Don’t take my word for it: The epistles go on and on like this: Stop whoring with false idols. Stop whoring at all. Stop refusing marriages. Stop divorcing. Stop setting up heretic traditions as law. Stop withholding from those deserving. Stop women from clogging churches with noise. Stop men from passive inclusion. Stop bickering over what you think you’ve figured out, and focus on what has been revealed.
Shame! Shame! Shame!
So the picture of the Early Church is very much like the ones we have today. They were full of loud-mouthed women and their silent male enablers. There were con-men in positions of privilege, and men who would use the vacuum of male voices as license to fill the void with every sort of nonsense and premonition.
The bad news is that we still struggle with the exact same problems after more than 2000 years. The good news is that the instructions to the errant Early Church are still valid for us, and we have them. We, having their bad examples and their excellent corrections, should not bring the shame of the Corinthians and the Ephesians, and the Galatians upon ourselves by continuing in their same errors.